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Obama sides with GOP on extending Bush tax cuts

December 6, 2010 Leave a comment

Put all partisan liberals and progressives on suicide watch:

President Obama announced a tentative deal with Congressional Republicans on Monday to extend the Bush-era tax cuts at all income levels for two years as part of a package that would also keep benefits flowing to the long-term unemployed, cut payroll taxes for all workers for a year and take other steps to bolster the economy.

The deal appeared to resolve the first major standoff since the midterm elections between the White House and newly empowered Republicans on Capitol Hill. But it also highlighted the strains Mr. Obama faces in his own party as he navigates between a desire to get things done and a retreat from his own positions and the principles of many liberals.

Congressional Democrats pointedly noted that they had yet to agree to any deal, even as many Republicans signaled that they would go along.

Mr. Obama said that he did not like some elements of the framework, but that he had agreed to it to avoid having taxes increase for middle class Americans at the end of the year. He said that in return for agreeing to Republican demands that income tax rates not go up on upper-income brackets, he had secured substantial assistance to lower- and middle-income workers as well as the unemployed.

Conventional wisdom says that the Republicans won this political battle, and won it big.  Democrats on the other hand, well, they can suck on this:

To say that Republicans are triumphant would be an understatement. They won the philosophical point (tax hikes impede economic growth) and, candidly, are more than delighted to have a repeat of this debate for the presidential campaign in 2012. Ryan Ellis of Americans for Tax Reform, which strenuously pushed for extension of the Bush tax cuts, tells me,”If 2012 is a referendum on Obamacare and tax hikes, we win.” Well, there will be lots of other issues, and 2012 in political terms is a long way off.

[…]

…[T]he White House sided with the Republicans. And it was Democratic gloomy faces all around. The president looked solemn as he announced the deal. Reid pointedly refused to endorse the deal; his spokesman issued a statement that Reid would have to consult with his fellow Democrats. One Senate adviser said that the party caucus meeting tomorrow should “be interesting.”

Drew M:

This is going to drive the left off the edge. Raising taxes was a big part of the Obama campaign and a lot of Democrats ran and lost on it last month. Now Obama is cutting it adrift. The Democrats bet hanging tough on tax increases would motivate the base in November more than cutting a deal would win them independent votes. Congrats on getting the worst of all worlds.

A few things to take away from this.  What about spending cuts?  I’d like the Republicans in both chambers of Congress to stand firm and be as aggressive pulling back spending as they were for extending the Bush tax cuts.  Something tells me not to hold my breath.  

And extending unemployment insurance is a back-breaker for many small businesses.  How will they fare over the next 13 months?

From what I can gather, the CW is cool with this deal, and might make most of us feel warm and fuzzy about sticking it to the Democrats, but I’m not so sure.

Tea Party keeps growing and growing

November 27, 2010 Leave a comment

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the post-election reaction of the Tea Party here in New Jersey, and the importance of establishing a foothold in state and local races for 2011 and beyond.

Apparently, this is happening in other states as well:

With the November elections behind them, tea party activists are working to solidify their movement by pivoting quickly to state and local issues they think will allow them to show that theirs was not a one-time uprising tied to this year’s congressional contest.

A major focus will be Virginia – one of only four states to hold elections next November. They are also launching a political action committee to recruit, train and fund candidates, and help them drive a legislative agenda during January’s General Assembly session.

The groups see the state’s legislative contests as an opportunity to build a network of officials who someday can rise through the ranks and compete for statewide offices.

[…]

The new strategy represents something of a course correction for a movement that this year often promoted political newcomers.

FreedomWorks, a national tea party group led by former House majority leader Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.), and other national and local groups are working to ferment and expand their organizations in battleground states including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Florida.

For the national groups, assisting activists with local elections helps sustain grass-roots enthusiasm with an eye toward the next round of congressional elections – and the presidential contest – in 2012.

And for the activists, local and state elections are opportunities to nurture candidates who share their political beliefs and to win offices the activists say hold the most influence over people’s lives. After all, they say, their movement is built on the premise that power should be concentrated locally instead of in Washington.

“The tea parties are growing momentum every day,” said Fran Telarico, a tea party organizer near Fort Collins, Colo., who is helping build a communications network among other local groups in Colorado to look ahead to 2012 as well as local races. “There are more people joining tea parties now than ever.”

As I alluded to in my earlier post, complacency is easy and contagious.  It’s good to see the momentum and determination stay alive all throughout the country.

(Via Instapundit)

New Jersey has true leadership

November 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Governor Christie has announced that 1,200 public jobs will be trimmed from the state payroll before the end of the year.

More importantly, the Christie administration is making the case for businesses and private sector growth in the state, something that has been trailing off over the last decade or so:

Christie cited a new report out by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, which predicted New Jersey’s economy will grow by more than 4 percent in the next six months, a projection based on increased building permits and a drop in new unemployment claims.

Christie said reduced government expenses have prompted businesses to begin thinking about expanding again in New Jersey, and that will grow the state’s economy.

The governor also noted that many municipalities are struggling to put together budgets for the next year, and he said reducing public employee costs were a key to controlling property taxes and helping the private sector.

Restraining the cost of salaries, restraining the cost of benefits, is one way of doing that; layoffs are another way,” Christie said. “Government is too big in New Jersey. You’ve seen that in the time we’ve been in office, a 4.6 percent reduction in government jobs, and there may have to be more.”

Part of the reason that liberals and Democrats across the country loathe Governor Christie is because he’s not waiting around, genuflecting before President Obama, begging the Federal government for some lame stimulus package.  He’s being proactive about the problems that are facing us here in New Jersey, and makes no apologies for that.

Suffice it to say that the actions he’s taking would never have happened under the Corzine regime.

Gallup: Yeah, that GOP tsunami is right on schedule

October 31, 2010 Leave a comment

Their last generic ballot poll is full of win, and history:

The results are from Gallup’s Oct. 28-31 survey of 1,539 likely voters. It finds 52% to 55% of likely voters preferring the Republican candidate and 40% to 42% for the Democratic candidate on the national generic ballot — depending on turnout assumptions. Gallup’s analysis of several indicators of voter turnout from the weekend poll suggests turnout will be slightly higher than in recent years, at 45%. This would give the Republicans a 55% to 40% lead on the generic ballot, with 5% undecided.

…[T]his year’s 15-point gap in favor of the Republican candidates among likely voters is unprecedented in Gallup polling and could result in the largest Republican margin in House voting in several generations. This means that seat projections have moved into uncharted territory, in which past relationships between the national two-party vote and the number of seats won may not be maintained.

It looks like we’re definitely not in Kansas anymore.

Republicans gearing up for a big night

October 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Philip Klein parses through the latest Pew Research Center poll and finds that it’s not going to be pretty for Democrats on November 2nd:

The new survey shows GOP candidates building a 50 percent to 40 percent lead among likely voters. In November 2006, Pew’s pre-election poll showed Democrats with a narrower 47 percent to 43 percent advantage among likely voters. The GOP opens up an even larger lead in competitive districts at 51 percent to 39 percent.

Whereas Democrats enjoyed a 7-point edge among independents in 2006, Republicans now hold a staggering 19-point advantage among this group. In fact, the Republicans’ lead extends to nearly every demographic category — they’re ahead among men and women; all education levels; all age groups; among those earning above $30,000; and in the West, Midwest, and South. The only segments of the population where Democrats enjoy advantages are among black voters, those earning less than $30,000, the religiously unaffiliated, and Northeasterners (where they lead by just 1 point). But even where Democrats do hold advantages, they have lost considerable ground relative to 2006.

It’s going to be an interesting night.

Angle’s $14 million haul

October 12, 2010 3 comments

Wow:

Former Nevada state Assemblywoman Sharron Angle (R) raised an eye-popping $14 million between July 1 and Sept. 30 for her challenge to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D), a stunning number that far eclipses the cash-collection totals of other prominent candidates seeking Senate seats next month.

“Sharron Angle produced one of the most successful single quarters of fundraising in the nation’s history for a U.S. Senate campaign,” said Angle communications director Jarrod Agen. “This is a testament to the hatred of Harry Reid, the nation’s disapproval of President Obama, and the unprecedented grassroots support for Sharron Angle.”

Ninety four percent of the money raised in the third quarter by Angle came in the form of donation of $100 or less. Ninety six percent of the contributions were $200 or less.

Small individual donors, grassroots support and getting around the Republican establishment in DC.  That’s what it’s all about for Republican candidates in this cycle.  The left, of course, calls it pandering to the “crazies”.

But when half-term Senator Barack Obama raises money from small donors and gets grassroots support from the moonbats, it’s called unprecedented “hope and change.”

Boehner: “Republicans have learned their lesson”

October 11, 2010 Leave a comment

The House GOP leader, speaking at a campaign stop for Allen West in Florida:

I think Republicans learned their lesson. They understood that we were spending too much, government was growing too much,” Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said this morning at a campaign appearance for Republican House candidate Allen West at the Gun Club Cafe in unincorporated West Palm Beach.

Boehner added: “I think if you’ve watched what we’ve done over the last 22 months you’ll see that Republicans all voted against the stimulus bill, all voted against their budget, almost all voted against cap and trade, and we all voted against health care, which demonstrates that we understand that people want a smaller, less costly and more accountable federal government.”

[…]

If Republicans win control of the House, Boehner said, “You’ll see us every single week move bills that will cut spending.”

Boehner promised a House bill to repeal the new health care law, but conceded repeal would likely be vetoed by President Obama. Still, Boehner said, “They’re going to need money from us to hire those 22,000 federal employees we think it’s going to take to run this monstrosity. And I’ll just tell you, they’re not going to get a dime from us.”

This is a start, I guess.  I’d be interested to see the House’s take on entitlement reform and defense spending.  Will they be on the table?

Rumblings in Pennsylvania

October 11, 2010 Leave a comment

More bad news for Democrats from the Rust Belt.  In Pennsylvania, it’s not looking so hot for Democrats in three weeks:

“For at least this past decade, Pennsylvania has been a battleground state where the political parties have fought over competitive House seats,” said Lara Brown, a political scientist at Villanova University.

[…]

Since 2002, Pennsylvanians opted for Democrats by voting for Gov. Ed Rendell, Sen. Bob Casey Jr. and, for president, John Kerry in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008.

“This year the tables have turned,” Brown said.

She pointed to recent opinion polls showing that most Pennsylvanians disapprove of President Obama’s job performance and hold unfavorable views about the stimulus legislation and health care overhaul championed by a Democratic Congress.

“This disapproval of the job the Democrats are doing in Washington has created opportunities across the Keystone State for Republican candidates for the House,” Brown said.

[…]

Two House members who benefited from the Democratic surge in the 2006 elections were Rep. Chris Carney of Dimock in Susquehanna County, who represents northeastern Pennsylvania, and Rep. Jason Altmire of McCandless, whose district stretches from Mercer County through the North Hills to Murrysville.

Carney’s seat is a case study of what is happening across the nation, Brauer said.

“He portrayed himself as a centrist and bipartisan; yet he voted for large government solutions like the stimulus package and health care reform, which drives up the national debt,” Brauer said.

In 2006, the Democrats took back control of the House on the backs of conservative Democrats in Rust Belt states and red states throughout the nation, not because they were being asked by voters to veer left, but because they were being asked to fill a void that used to be filled with moderate to conservative Republicans, a response to a Republican party that wasn’t as conservative. 

The Democratic majorities were not built on a liberal/progressive groundswell, as much as the current majority leadership in both chambers wanted us to believe it was so.  With the hard left turn that the Obama Democrats have taken, it’s no wonder that their majorities are quickly about to unravel.

And this is just Pennsylvania.  We’re talking about this against a backdrop of Republican gains in states like West Virginia, Wisconsin, Ohio and Illinois.

Mo’ money, mo’ money…

October 7, 2010 Leave a comment

The NRCC has some money to spend and it looks like they’re going all out:

House Republicans have drafted a go-for-broke blueprint for the final weeks of the midterm campaign that will bring them to $45 million in television ad spending, with spots reserved in 62 congressional districts across the nation.

POLITICO has learned that the National Republican Congressional Committee will take a bank loan of at least $6.5 million — but likely more — to expand its ad buys into seven additional districts beyond the 55 where the committee has already reserved time.

According to an NRCC source familiar with the effort, the newly added targets include five Democrats whose districts, until recently, were thought to be out of reach this year: Reps. Tim Walz of Minnesota, Sanford Bishop of Georgia, Phil Hare of Illinois, Zack Space of Ohio and John Salazar of Colorado.

Republican strategists say that the $45 million figure is far more than they expected the committee to have for the fall campaign and represents an effort to take full advantage of the Republican-friendly political environment by investing in as many potentially winnable Democratic districts as possible. The NRCC initially reserved $22 million across 41 districts in August before expanding to $35 million in 55 districts in September.

“When we look up at the scoreboard on Nov. 3rd, we’ll look back and know that we left everything on the field,” said an NRCC source familiar with the effort.

By all means gentlemen–go all out.

I haven’t donated to neither the NRCC nor the NRSC in some time, but I’m glad to see this bit of news.

$45 million is a lot of money.  Even so, I’ve read that the Democratic election committees have an edge in their coffers, but are being forced to be much more selective in how they deploy the cash.

(Via Big Government)

It’s the taxing and spending, stupid

October 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Governor Chris Christie, continuing his road trip campaigning for Republican candidates throughout the country, stops in Iowa, with a warning to the GOP rank and file:

Christie said Republicans must deliver on their conservative promises if they gain power during the November elections. If they don’t follow through, he said voters will send the GOP “to the wilderness, and they are going to send us there for a long, long time.”

“As a party, it is put up or shut up time,” he said.

Voters are willing to accept the political pain of deep cuts in government spending as long as they know the pain is being spread equally, Christie argued. It makes sense to shrink government in tough economic times, and politicians seem to be the last to get that message, he said.

“We lost our way a number of years ago, and we became tax and spend light,” he said. “Less spending, smaller government, less regulation, smaller government — we’re going to be all about that again. We have to step up and stand for those principles again.”

It’s refreshing to see a Republican being fearless about his conservatism.  The party needs more of this in order to win.  Period.